What Makes a Good International School: A Checklist for Parents in Singapore
As parents, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right curriculum or school for your child. In Singapore, international schools are mainly set up to cater to expatriate families and thanks to their diverse, globally-minded environments, they are well positioned to prepare students for life in our interconnected world.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the key factors that make a good international school and provide a handy checklist for parents on the lookout.
A Growing Demand
According to data provided by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), the number of students enrolled in an international school in Singapore has risen significantly in recent years, up about 10% between April 2021 and April 2022. Parents are increasingly drawn to these institutions for their holistic education, unique learning experiences, and globally recognised curricula – such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme for primary, middle school, and diploma levels.
The Ultimate Checklist for Parents
With so many factors to consider, using a checklist will help you narrow down your choices and find the best fit for your child. Here, we’ve broken down some of the areas of assessment you should take note of when seeking out an international school in Singapore:
1. Academic curriculum
A stellar academic curriculum forms the cornerstone of your child's educational journey. Here's what to look for:
Accreditation: Ensure that the school is accredited by reputable organisations like the IB, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Council of International Schools (CIS) and EduTrust Singapore certification.
Language options: Top international schools in Singapore offer a variety of language options to cater to their diverse student body.
Co-curricular activities: Engaging co-curricular activities help students explore their passions and develop essential life skills.
Academic achievements: Look for schools with an impressive track record in exam results and university placements.
2. Student support services
Your child's well-being is just as important as their academic success. Consider these essential support services:
Class sizes: Smaller classes allow for more individualised attention and students to be heard and express themselves.
Individualised attention: The best international schools in Singapore prioritise tailored learning experiences that cater to each student's needs.
Pastoral Care: Access to physical and emotional support is crucial for students' health and well-being.
Safety: A secure environment is the foundation for students to thrive.
3. Faculty and staff
An exceptional teaching staff plays a pivotal role in your child's educational journey:
Teacher quality and experience: Opt for schools that employ highly qualified, experienced, and passionate educators.
Multicultural staff: A diverse staff imparts unique perspectives and fosters cultural understanding.
Professional development: Top-notch schools invest in ongoing professional development for their faculty and staff.
Length of Employment: Ask about the average tenure of staff. Most teaching contracts are for two years. Having staff stay for two or more contracts helps to ensure continuity of programmes and development.
4. Facilities and resources
A well-equipped campus can enhance your child's overall learning experience:
Campus facilities: Seek schools with modern, well-maintained facilities that accommodate diverse learning styles.
Technology: Access to cutting-edge technology prepares students for the digital world.
Access to resources: The best international schools in Singapore provide ample resources to support students' learning.
5. Community and culture
A nurturing community and inclusive culture can enhance your child's educational experience:
Diversity: A diverse student body promotes cultural understanding and global-mindedness.
Parent involvement: Schools that encourage parent participation tend to foster a stronger sense of community.
Service Learning opportunities: Engaging in community service or service as action helps students develop empathy, responsibility and character.
6. Cost and accessibility
Last but not least, consider the practical aspects of your decision:
Tuition: Be aware of tuition fees and any additional costs associated with attending the school.
Flexible payment options: Some schools may offer flexible payment options for eligible families.
Location: Consider the school's location and its accessibility from your home.
Accessibility: Check if the school offers transportation services and other support for students with special needs.
Chatsworth International School in Singapore: Ticking all the Right Boxes
As we've explored the key factors and checklist for choosing the perfect international school in Singapore, it's time to highlight how Chatsworth stands out as a prime choice for parents and students.
Academic curriculum: Chatsworth offers a rigorous IB programme for primary, middle school, and diploma levels. With an impressive track record in exam results and university placements, Chatsworth ensures your child receives a top-tier education in Singapore.
Student support services: Chatsworth is known for its smaller class sizes, personalised learning experiences, and a robust support system that includes personal, social, and mental health counselling and a secure environment for students to thrive.
Faculty and staff: Chatsworth boasts highly qualified, experienced, and passionate educators with a diverse background - Chatsworth teachers come from about 25 different nationalities. The school emphasises ongoing professional development, ensuring that the teaching staff remains at the forefront of educational practices. The average length of tenure for Chatsworth staff is over 5 years.
Facilities and resources: The well-maintained campus at Chatsworth offers inspiring views and is equipped with cutting-edge technology and ample resources to support student learning.
Community and culture: The school has a close-knit and diverse community that is internationally-minded.he It has an active Chatsworth Parent Group that encourages parent involvement and plays a unique role to building community.
Cost and accessibility: Chatsworth is transparent about tuition fees and additional costs, while also offering scholarships for IB Diploma Programme to eligible students. The international school's location in Singapore is convenient, and it provides transportation services and support for students with special needs.
Finding the right international school in Singapore for your child can be a daunting task, but by using this checklist, you can identify the best options and make an informed decision. Chatsworth embodies all the essential factors that make a great international school in Singapore, providing an exceptional learning environment for your child to flourish.
Consider applying for the IB programme or scholarship at Chatsworth as you embark on this exciting journey for your child's future in Singapore.